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Continuing with a five-part series on “The Five Dangerous Modes Leaders Assume in Business Management,” we will today explore Endogamic Mode.

Endogamy is defined as “marriage within a specific group as required by custom or law.” When we apply this concept to a workplace setting, the meaning shifts, but the idea is that you do not look outside your business or team for a fresh perspective — which can become problematic.

Many entrepreneurs and managers facing an issue know in advance the response they will receive from the rest of their colleagues — the same thoughts, the same poses, the same initiatives over time. Often there is no “fresh air,” no new ways of thinking and contributing. Many times, the pressure of day-to-day problems and Firefighter Mode gets in the way of seeing simple solutions. That is why it is necessary to have a fresh perspective that provides new ways of understanding.

External and expert advice, not polluted by the beliefs of the industry, can aid in rethinking business strategy in a much more global and unbiased way. Below are some things you can do to welcome new perspectives. (Note that Endogamic Mode is closely related to Inertia Mode, so the initiatives listed in my previous article can also be helpful.)

• Invite independent professionals to join your board of directors and contribute new ideas, as well as advisors/coaches who question the way in which the functions and activities of each department are being carried out. These reflection processes can generate new paradigms and schemes of thought. Separate from your board of directors, you can also create an external advisory board.

• Launch a program that attracts interns from other countries allowing international exchanges. This can provide a global perspective and help you to see other ways of doing and thinking.

• Develop networking programs to exchange ideas with other entrepreneurs and, if possible, people from different industries.

• Participate in group mentoring programs where recurring meetings with other entrepreneurs are organized and where new ideas can be shared.

• Have employees rotate roles within the company to learn more about the activities of other departments and thus better understand the whole business.

• Introduce sabbatical periods for executive members to explore innovative ideas and, upon their return, bring fresh air to the business.

• Enable employees to attend conferences and fairs to stay up to date on industry trends.

• Set aside time to actively think about and strategize for the future, instead of only looking to the past.

• Seek out external training programs that bring new ideas into the company and put in place mechanisms to ensure that these ideas will be implemented.

To end Endogamic Mode, action must be taken. It is only through curiosity and continuous interest in new processes and systems that executives can discover new ways of thinking and looking at the business. Adopt the motto that nothing from the past should be taken as eternal or fixed and any new idea should be considered necessary to be incorporated into the process of continuous analysis. These tips can help leaders reflect and adapt to the continuous changes that are taking place, thereby ensuring that you are more competitive, efficient and modern.


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